OTTAWA — The federal government’s planned changes to its financial aid for news outlets in Canada should allow more of them to qualify for the financial help, a news-industry association says.
The Liberals first unveiled a $595-million, five-year package of help for the news industry in the 2019 budget, promising, among other things, refundable tax credits to cover one-quarter of salaries for journalists at qualifying outlets.
Some of the rules for the politically charged spending were worded in a way that, for instance, if one small paper in a large chain took advantage of a different program offering help for publishers, the entire organization was banned from the new aid.
John Hinds, CEO of News Media Canada, says the suite of legislative changes the Liberals have unveiled should capture a broader range of news organizations by dropping that prohibition.
Another change would remove a requirement for a labour tax credit that qualifying outlets be “primarily” engaged in news production, and instead allow newsroom employees to spend one-quarter of their time on promoting goods and services.
Hinds says the package of changes may also be an indication that the Liberals intend to speed up disbursement of funds to an industry that has seen demand spike in the COVID-19 pandemic, but revenues plunge.
“The industry desperately needs cash and this is a pretty good way of getting it,” Hinds said in an interview.
“This not something we can wait as an industry for months and months to get processed, so we do hope this is an indication that the government is going to fast-track this.”
Businesses forced to close to curb the spread of the pandemic have cut spending, accelerating a decline in newspaper advertising. Outlets that have diversified some of their revenue streams by hosting events, seminars or training have similarly seen declines, Hinds said.
He recounted the story of one small publisher that saw printing costs rise in the week after the crisis took hold in Canada, the result of increase demand and content, and yet the outlet had no advertising revenue to pay for it.
“Never have people wanted to read our products more, and yet we have a huge revenue shortfall,” Hinds said.
The result has been layoffs and pay cuts designed to shore up cash flows to keep paying the bills. One newspaper chain in Atlantic Canada shuttered weekly publications and laid off 240 people in March, saying it needed to preserve its resources in hopes of reopening later. In early April, hundreds of workers at the Winnipeg Free Press accepted pay cuts to keep their publication going.
In Britain, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden called on citizens to buy newspaper subscriptions to support what he called the country’s fourth emergency service. He also asked remaining advertisers not to block their ads from appearing next to stories on COVID-19.
In Australia on Monday, the government moved toward forcing digital companies such as Facebook and Google to share ad revenue with producers of Australian content, using the country’s competition law.
In Canada, the Liberals have also proposed a tax credit for news subscriptions, but now plan to allow the Canada Revenue Agency to publish details of eligible subscriptions and require organizations to tell their readers if their subscriptions cease to qualify for the credit.
It’s not just print and online publications that may soon be able to access the money.
The Liberals propose changing rules so that only broadcasters with “licensed” broadcasting undertakings can’t access the program’s tax credits. That would likely allow some community radio and television broadcasters to access the program.
Journalism partnerships with different organizations would also be able to qualify under the proposed changes, which would, if approved, be retroactive to last year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2020.
This Minnesota journalist says there's something important the media is missing about protests – CNN
Katai Leaves Galaxy After Wife’s Racial Social Media Posts… – Mount Royal Soccer
You would hope that the Katai’s weren’t looking forward to an extended stay on America’s west coast.
If they were it’s all been scuppered by some strongly-worded Instagram posts from the player’s wife, Tea in which she called for people to kill protestors, which she referred to as ‘disgusting cattle’.
Now the former Alaves and Red Star Belgrade midfielder and his club have parted ways.
The Galaxy released a statement condemning Tea’s since-deleted comments on Wednesday saying…
“Earlier today, the LA Galaxy were made aware of a series of racist and violent social media posts by Tea Katai, the wife of LA Galaxy midfielder Aleksandar Katai.
“The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality.”
The player for his part had come out strongly following the comments, distancing himself from his spouse’s posts, although accepting full responsibility.
“These views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family.
“Racism, particularly toward the black community, is not only prevalent in the United States and Europe, but across the globe. I strongly condemn white supremacy, racism and violence towards people of color. Black lives matter. This is a mistake from my family and I take full responsibility.
“I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and support the black community.
“I understand that it will take time to earn back the support of the people of Los Angeles. I am committed to putting in the necessary work to learn from these mistakes and be a better ally and advocate for equality going forward. I am sorry for the pain these posts have caused the LA Galaxy family and all allies in the fight against racism.”
It was not enough to save his LA Galaxy career with the club yesterday producing a terse and final statement confirming Katai’s departure…
“The LA Galaxy have mutually agreed to part with midfielder Aleksander Katai.”
While Tea Katai’s comments are totally and unequivocally unacceptable, you wonder if the player himself has been treated fairly by the club. He did clearly distance himself from the comments, explaining they were not representative of his own views, and in fact verbally came out in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
Is it right that a player’s future at a football club can be determined in this way by comments, no matter how disgusting, made by another family member, which in the days of social media he had very little, if any, control over?
Katai has ‘accepted full responsibility’, but it must be acknowledged that was part of a carefully worded statement providing apology and certainly designed to prolong his short LA career.
Or is it correct that the former Chicago Fire player is ‘found guilty by association’ and was rightly dismissed?
What do Impact fans think? Would you have expected Montreal Impact to fire a player under the same circumstances?
Are the LA Galaxy right in dispensing with the services for Aleksander Katai due to his wife’s unacceptable Instagram posts?
Yes 100%. He has to go…
Not sure. It’s a grey area. I’m on the fence and think getting rid of the player is too harsh a punishment.
100% No. Katai should not be held accountable for the social media interactions of his wife or any other family member.
7 votes total
GOLDSTEIN: Media deliberately distorted what Trump said about George Floyd – Toronto Sun
Contrary to a globally reported blunder by the media on Friday, President Donald Trump did not say a positive report on U.S. job numbers was “good news for George Floyd.”
Here’s what Trump said:
“Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender, or creed. They have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen.
“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.’ It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our Constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.”
Clearly, Trump’s reference to Floyd was in the context of Americans agreeing everyone must be treated equally by police, not optimistic U.S. job numbers.
Despite their obvious blunder about what Trump said, which quickly went global and erupted on social media, few media organizations have corrected it.
Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, reacting to the inaccurate media reports, said what Trump said was “despicable.”
Some are now arguing it was outrageous for Trump to invoke Floyd’s name — he died in police custody, with the four fired police officers involved now facing a slew of major criminal charges — in any context.
But that deliberately ignores the point, which is that the media got the story wrong.
In another controversy involving Trump, a widely-circulated medical study published in the Lancet claiming patients with COVID-19 were more likely to die or suffer serious side effects from taking hydroxychloroquine has been retracted.
Based on this research, Trump was widely attacked for recommending the use of hydroxychloroquine and saying he was taking it himself to ward off COVID-19.
Trump should not be freelancing medical advice and it was dangerous for him to do so.
But as James Heathers, a research scientist at Boston’s Northeastern University, writing in the Guardian, observed, the retraction of the research paper is also alarming and potentially dangerous.
As Heathers wrote:
“The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. Recently, they published an article on Covid patients receiving hydroxychloroquine with a dire conclusion: the drug increases heartbeat irregularities and decreases hospital survival rates. This result was treated as authoritative, and major drug trials were immediately halted — because why treat anyone with an unsafe drug?
“Now, that Lancet study has been retracted, withdrawn from the literature entirely, at the request of three of its authors who ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’
“Given the seriousness of the topic and the consequences of the paper, this is one of the most consequential retractions in modern history.
“How did a paper of such consequence get discarded like a used tissue by some of its authors only days after publication? If the authors don’t trust it now, how did it get published in the first place?”
Heathers says the root problem is with the peer review process which, “at its worst … is merely window dressing that gives the unwarranted appearance of authority, a cursory process which confers no real value, enforces orthodoxy, and overlooks both obvious analytical problems and outright fraud entirely.”
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